Protein database for sustainable protein ingredients

RESEARCH PROJECT – part of the bioeconomy innovation area »NewFoodSystems«

A protein database facilitates the use of alternative proteins

Various plant raw materials, which are used for protein recovery: Almonds, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, quinoa
Logo of the innovation room NewFoodSystems
Logo of the BMBF

Against the background of climate change, the replacement of animal protein by alternative proteins from plants, algae, and insects is one of the most important research areas of the food and animal feed industries. Even though there are already many commercially available protein preparations, in many cases there is a lack of detailed information about their properties and potential applications. This fact makes it difficult for users to select suitable raw materials for their applications.

The aim of the research project is to create a comprehensive database of proteins so that users have a systematic overview. This will include key properties of protein raw materials such as composition and technofunctional parameters, as well as information about sensory properties, digestibility, cost, and availability. Protein mixtures and modified proteins will also be included in the database. The end result will be a prototype of a functional database that enables users to select suitable raw materials for applications in the food and animal feed industries. As part of the project, analytical methods will also be developed for key unknown parameters. By modifying and combining proteins the aim is to optimize parameters for specific applications, allowing the use of customized sustainable proteins and protein mixtures in the food and animal feed industries. In parallel, the use of alternative protein ingredients in a wide range of food products and animal feeds will be tested. Application tests and acceptance studies will be conducted in the subsequent 'Proof of concept' of the protein database and new protein ingredients.

R&D organizations and industry working together to develop innovative protein ingredients

The Fraunhofer IVV brings in-depth expertise to the project, in particular regarding the recovery, evaluation, modification, and application of various plant proteins in foods and animal feeds. Previous research work of the Farunhofer IVV has studied the technofunctional, sensory, and nutri-physiological properties of a variety of protein raw materials. Algorithms will be developed to enable users to formulate optimal protein mixtures for specific purposes.
The research project involves R&D organizations and industrial companies along the entire food chain, including producers of alternative proteins and protein mixtures and food manufacturers.


Project term:

2020 to 2023

Project management / project funding:

Forschungszentrum Jülich / Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Funded within the scope of the NewFoodSystems initiative of the  'Innovation Program for the Bioeconomy' under the 'National Research Strategy for the Bioeconomy 2030' of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):

Project partners:

Fraunhofer IVV, endori food GmbH & Co. KG, Döhler GmbH, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg (HAW), Hydrosol GmbH & Co. KG, Kalle GmbH, ProLupin GmbH, Scheid AG & Co. KG, Sunbloom Proteins GmbH, Südzucker AG, VAN HEES GmbH, Zentis GmbH & Co. KG